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J Pharm Pharmacol. 2010 Feb;62(2):223-30. doi: 10.1211/jpp.62.02.0010.

Potential protective effects of a traditional Chinese herb, Litsea coreana Levl., on liver fibrosis in rats.

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Department of Pharmacy, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Hong Kong, China.



It was found that total flavonoids from Litsea coreana Levl. (TFLC), which is a traditional Chinese medicine, had a preventive effect against hepatic steatosis in our previous study. This study was designed to evaluate whether TFLC could improve liver fibrosis in rats.


The liver fibrosis model rats were treated with composite factors of high-fat emulsion (10 ml/kg) via gavage accompanied by a subcutaneous injection of low-dose CCl(4). Thirty rats were given composite factors plus TFLC (100, 200, 400 mg/kg), respectively, for 8 weeks.


The results showed that TFLC (200 and 400 mg/kg) treatment significantly reduced the elevation of liver index (liver weight/body weight) and spleen index (spleen weight/body weight), alanine transaminase, aspartate aminotransferase, hyaluronic acid, laminin, procollagen III N-terminal peptide, procollagenase IV and hydroxyproline. In addition, TFLC treatment improved the morphologic changes of hepatic fibrosis, suppressed expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin, collagen I, transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1 and TGFbeta receptor (TGFbetaR)1, and increased peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma expression in the liver of hepatic fibrosis rats.


In conclusion, TFLC is able to ameliorate liver injury and protect rats from liver fibrosis. This process may be related to inhibiting the expression of transforming growth factor-beta1 and increasing the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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